On the pleasures of stumbling upon books in the wrong places

It’s funny to think I just stumbled on this book by chance. I must have been escaping from something much more heavy—I love the turgid pace of an academic book, if it’s a topic I really care about, about once a year. I think I probably escaped to Jean Stafford from something like that, and I didn’t expect much of her. I thought, Oh, this is just good old-fashioned fiction, I’ll try that for a change. So often you’re just reacting to the last book you read, and you want something that’s a little bit of an antidote to that. I’ve found that if I live a more programmatic life where I’m reading the books that I’m supposed to read—if I’m accomplishing all my little chores of reading what everybody else is reading—I stop having time to read in a way that’s rich and multiple.
From Happy Accidents
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BBC - Future - Why printers add secret tracking dots

“Zooming in on the document, they were pretty obvious,” says Ted Han at cataloguing platform Document Cloud, who was one of the first to notice them. “It is interesting and notable that this stuff is out there.”
From BBC - Future - Why printers add secret tracking dots
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From Hamilton To Grant: Ron Chernow Paints A 'Farsighted' President in New Biography



From Hamilton To Grant: Ron Chernow Paints A 'Farsighted' President in New Biography

Chernow, author of Hamilton, has a new book, just out this week, which also aims to revise our understanding of a figure he sees as overlooked and misunderstood: The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. In it, Chernow aims to rehabilitate the way Americans think about the man who not only led the Union Army into victory during the Civil War but also led the country during the tumultuous era that followed.

Full piece at NPR
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The woman who went to the library and read every book on the shelf

Phyllis Rose's book about her extreme reading experiment, in which she tackled the entire contents of a shelf in a New York library, has won high praise, but are such 'bibliomemoirs' a sign of an increasingly superficial literary culture or vital guides for a public swamped by choice?
From The woman who went to the library and read every book on the shelf | Books | The Guardian
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If Any Profession is Known For Its Sense of Humor, Its Librarians.

Check out this group of New Zealand librarians as reported in the Daily Mail UK . They are posing in imitation of the famous portrait of the Kardashians.

To Kill A Mockingbird Pulled From Reading List

CBS NEWS reports that a school district in Missippi has pulled Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from a junior high reading list as the discussion of race “makes people uncomfortable.”. The book remains in libraries (fortunately).

How Living in a Library Gave One Man the Thirst of Learning

Via NPR’s Story Corps a reminiscence of a youth spent in the library when his father was employed there as a custodian. The boy’s name was Ronald Clark, and he became the first in his family to attend college, and later became a college professor.

How one local librarian made all the difference to a 6-year-old recovering from a concussion

Lisa Cipolla has a saying: “Better living through story time.”

Which makes sense, since Cipolla is a youth-services librarian at the South Hill Library. A big part of her job is wrangling and entertaining young ones during the Pierce County library’s regularly scheduled drop-in story times for toddlers and preschoolers.

For Jackie Blackshaw, and her 6-year-old son, Tony, Cipolla’s saying has certainly proven true.

Full article
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How UNH Turned A Quiet Benefactor Into A Football-Marketing Prop

That’s where most people left Robert Morin. A second, smaller wave of coverage focused on UNH’s troubling decision to funnel only $100,000 of his money to the library, even as it committed $1 million of it to a video scoreboard for its football stadium. But the full story is more troubling still. Through a series of interviews and public records requests, Deadspin has uncovered the 17-month backstory to Morin’s bequest. Like so many schools, big and small, UNH spent wildly on its athletic department. The university went a step further in trying to engineer a public relations victory, deceptively connecting a fragment of Morin’s life to its football splurge. The media eagerly repackaged the story as an inspirational fable.
From How UNH Turned A Quiet Benefactor Into A Football-Marketing Prop
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Napoleon's Kindle: See the Miniaturized Traveling Library He Took on Military Campaigns

"Many of Napoleon’s biographers have incidentally mentioned that he […] used to carry about a certain number of favorite books wherever he went, whether traveling or camping," says an 1885 Sacramento Daily Union article posted by Austin Kleon, "but it is not generally known that he made several plans for the construction of portable libraries which were to form part of his baggage." The piece's main source, a Louvre librarian who grew up as the son of one of Napoleon's librarians, recalls from his father's stories that "for a long time Napoleon used to carry about the books he required in several boxes holding about sixty volumes each," each box first made of mahogany and later of more solid leather-covered oak. "The inside was lined with green leather or velvet, and the books were bound in morocco," an even softer leather most often used for bookbinding.
From Napoleon's Kindle: See the Miniaturized Traveling Library He Took on Military Campaigns | Open Culture
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Let's Talk about Books

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Penn Jillette on books

People forget how useful books are.

--Penn Jillette
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Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks



In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler’s Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence’s take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature―sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths.

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
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AT UCLA, They're Building Maps for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief

A program has sprung up at UCLA to build maps for hurricane relief.

The mapathon activities were scheduled for today, October 5 at the Young Research Library. Volunteers will help add building locations to maps of the island. These maps will be used by the Red Cross and other relief agencies.

No experience, knowledge of Puerto Rico’s geography or software installation was required. Participants were asked to just bring a laptop and library staff and UCLA’s Institute for Digital Research and Education geographic information systems experts will teach them how to help with these efforts through some easy-to-learn mapping tasks in a web-based application.

Librarian explains why she rejected books donated by Melania Trump

Via CBS News.

The Dr. Suess books were rejected by a librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementray School Library in response to President Trump's selection of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education among other factors. What's your opinion on the rejection of the gift?

UPDATE: FLOTUS office fires back a reply to the rejection of the Dr. Suess books: via FoxNews (what else?)

'To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate.' - FLOTUS

The Librarian of Auschwitz



Publisher's Weekly Starred Review -- The Librarian of Auschwitz
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Activists: ‘Soul of city’ at stake in Obama library agreement flap

About 300 residents packed a South Side auditorium Wednesday night to demand that the promise of jobs, economic development and other benefits of the Obama presidential library center be put in writing.

The activists and residents want a community benefits agreement, something many say will protect the neighborhoods and people the center may displace.

Full article
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Ex Libris: New York Public Library

Now playing at NYC's Film Forum: Ex Libris NYPL.

Frederick Wiseman cracks open institutions: the military, the insane asylum, the high school, the police, the welfare system, the Paris Opera Ballet, the National Gallery of London, and now – in his 43rd film in 50 years - the New York Public Library, an institution eminently worthy of his immersive style. If you thought libraries are just repositories for books, you’re in for a big, wonderful surprise. The NYPL owns (and makes accessible) millions of images; sponsors lectures by people like Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, and Ta-Nehisi Coates; circulates a growing collection of e-books; maintains a vast archive of materials not available online; and gives classes in digital technology. The magnificent Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (and 5th Avenue at 42nd Street) is the spine of the film, but equally vital is the role of branch libraries that act as community centers for civic life.

18 Great Books You Probably Haven't Read

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What to Do With a Soaking Wet Book

from Syracuse University Library. A lot of paper towels are involved.

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